By Debbie Holden 18 Oct 2018 7 min read

Best graduate job hunting tips revealed

You’re young, fresh out of university and now you’re on the path to secure a meaningful job right from the get-go. But you might find yourself running in to a few problems on the way…

As a graduate, the lack of network and experience needed can hinder your chances of getting the job you want. If you want to find a job that will let you reach new heights, here are a few tips to get you there:


1. Cater your CV to each job

It’s common for graduates to spend hours tailoring a CV for the job they are hoping to get once university is out of the way. The problem, is that this CV is then sent out, unchanged, to a number of potential employers.

Tailoring your CV to each employer is essential if you want to catch their eye. Although you might be looking for a similar role, each company will have different requirements, skills and job descriptions. So it’s important that you read the job description carefully, then amend your application to fit the bill. Recruiters will be able to tell if you haven’t spent time tailoring your CV, like if you have included vague sentences with no examples.


2. Be realistic

If the question “where do you see yourself in five years” makes you squirm, you are not alone. Many people find it difficult to answer this question. It’s good to have an idea of where you see your career going e.g. what skills do you hope to gain? Do you see yourself in a managerial position? Be realistic and honest about your professional future.


3. Outreach your CV

Applying for a job is just one way of getting your CV in front of an employer. You can also upload your CV to job boards like InAutomotive, where recruiters will be able to see it. If they think you fit the bill, they will likely contact you to discuss a job opportunity. Post it on the more popular websites, and there should be a visibility option where you can make your profile available to recruiters or choose to keep it private.


4. Let others know you’re looking

You might find that some job opportunities come from a friend, or someone you previously worked with, whether it was a summer job or work experience. Networking is very important, so you should make others aware that you are looking for a new job. This is going to connect you with other people who have their foot in the door already.

Have you ever used LinkedIn? This social media platform is excellent for networking and job prospects. Create a profile (it’s just like an online CV) and connect with people in the industry who you think could help you. Even if it’s just for advice, you will find that most people are willing to help. Want to learn more about LinkedIn?

If you are still at university, it might be worth connecting with alumni via LinkedIn, to see where they ended up. They will be able to give you ideas on how to start your career journey. You can also view our job hunting tips for graduates here.


5. Set goals for yourself

Set specific targets for yourself when if you want to increase your chances of getting a job. Whether it’s to send X amount of CV’s each day, or following up with those who interviewed you/set you up for an interview. Be proactive to increase your chances of getting a job.


6. Clean up your social presence

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees. Once you start looking for jobs, don’t make the mistake of leaving any embarrassing images on your profiles that could jeopardise your job prospects in future. Clean up your profile and switch your tagging features on Facebook (in settings) to ‘review’ – this means that when a friend tags you in a picture you would rather they hadn’t, you can review it first before it appears on your page.


7. Be opportunistic 

It is very rare that a recruiter will come across their dream candidate who has every skill they require, the right personality and attitude, and the ideal level of experience. If you have at least 50% of the requirements, apply for the job, and be prepared to tell the employer why you think you would still fit for the role. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get it. But you could still receive some valuable feedback in the process.

There are going to be very few ‘perfect’ employees who fit the description to a tee. Take a chance and apply – oftentimes a willingness to learn and develop yourself is more important than having all the specific requirements.